January 17th, 2022 in Leander, Texas. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. No better time for a festival and parade. Wait… did someone say parade? Count us in, Pack 170 will be there!

It was short notice for many of our families and many parents had to work but we had a lucky few that were able to make it. Our Lion Scouts were represented, as were Bears and AOL Scouts. And Troops 16 and 91, also chartered by Acts Church Leander, had a strong contingent.

It was a very brisk pace set by the vehicles at the front of the parade. I found myself waving and welcoming the many spectators so much that a big gap opened ahead of us so we really had to step it up to catch up. Slowly but surely, we began to close the gap, though we never fully caught up.

S.T.E.M. Fact
The average walking speed of an adult is 3 to 4 mph. If the procession was moving at 3.5 mph and we were going only 3 mph for 10 minutes, how much additional space opened between us and the group ahead of us? With a difference in speed of 0.5 mph, a 1/2 mile gap would open in 1 hour. 10 minutes is 1/6 of an hour so the gap would be:
(0.5 mi / 1 hr) X 1/6 hr = 0.0833 mi X (5280 ft / 1 mi) = 440 ft.

So, if the adults were holding the banner, what were the Scouts doing? Well, they were moving even faster. Each Scout had a bag of bite-sized candy bars that they shared with the kids, and a few adults, in the audience. Flitting from one family to they next, they gave out candy like it was halloween.

It wasn’t over when the parade was finished. That is when the festival started. The dignitaries included Leander’s own, Mayor Christine DeLisle, and several Leander city council members. Also in attendance were city council members from Cedar Park and Pfleugerville as well as board members from LISD. Troops 16 and 91 performed the opening flag ceremony and there was an opening invocation and a touching rendition of amazing grace. There were several speakers sharing the message of the reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. but the one I best remember is a young woman who spoke and sang of her own personal experiences as a black mother in America.

There was good food to be had from hot dogs to barbeque to jerk chicken and shrimp. Local community organizations were represented including the historic society where at least one Scout made his own rope just like it was done when Texas was being settled. They also treated us to a great story about the cattle drives of old. Local merchants plied there wares too with unique and handmade crafts.

All in all, it was loads of fun and it promoted civic responsibility and community involvement. I can’t wait until next year!